Californians May Get Chance to Vote on Dividing Their State

Californians May Get Chance to Vote on Dividing Their State July 18, 2014

California voters may get to decide if they want to split their state into six parts.

The vote, if it occurs, won’t be on the ballot until November 2016. For those of you who aren’t counting ahead, that would be the next presidential election.

Supporters needed 808,000 signatures to put the question on the state ballot. They ended up with 1.3 million. I would guess that there will be numerous court challenges, including, perhaps federal court challenges, before this thing reaches a vote.

I would also imagine that the United States Congress may have a thought or two on the issue. So far as I know, there is no provision for states to draw their own boundary lines, not even if those boundaries are within their existing state lines.

The petition drive was backed by Timothy Draper, who the Post-Periodical calls a “Silicon Valley venture capitalist.” Mr Draper says that a large number of Californians do not feel represented by the current government.

That sounds reasonable to me. California is a huge state with several climates and what appears from the outside to be several cultural regions, as well. The way the state is represented in Congress it would appear that the people of California are all affluent urban liberals. Unless that’s true, there is a disconnect between governance and at least some of the people.

This whole thing could die in court quickly, or it might linger on through an election and into all sorts of federal questions. If that happens, and if California succeeds in dividing itself, I can see other states taking a shot at the same thing.

Here, from the Post Periodical, is a map of the proposed states into which California would be broken, along with their proposed names.

Six Californias 255x300

Photo source: Post Periodical


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10 responses to “Californians May Get Chance to Vote on Dividing Their State”

  1. As a Californian this makes sense. It would allow for self-governance and usage of tax revenue in the region it originated. Presently that always doesn’t happen. The county I live in, Los Angeles County, is bigger than many states, whether you are judging population, economics or simple size. Combine Orange, San Diego and the Inland Empire and you have a similar picture.
    Would it be costly? Yes, would it eliminate bureaucratic waste? Allow for a rmore representative governance? Yes.

    • Whether or not this would be good for Californians, I have no idea. But I doubt it would eliminate bureaucratic waste. There would just be more, smaller states each with their own bureaucracies. Smaller states MAY result in less bureaucratic waste, or not. It would be up to the people. So far, our distaste for bureaucratic waste hasn’t led to many bureaucrats being forced into the private economy.

  2. Article IV, section 2 of the US Constitution:

    “1: New States may be admitted by the Congress into this Union; but no new State shall be formed or erected within the Jurisdiction of any other State; nor any State be formed by the Junction of two or more States, or Parts of States, without the Consent of the Legislatures of the States concerned as well as of the Congress.”

    So the state has to vote on it, and the Congress has to approve, probably by mahorities in both houses.

    It may just be a scheme to allow the current California to have more Democratic senate seats. Right now, the whole state just gets 2 senators. If split, it appears that old California would have 12 Senate seats, probably making the rest of us into serfs of California.

  3. Eastern Washington and Eastern Oregon would both ditch their western halves if it proves possible to redefine states. But then it would result in better representation for those annoying flatheads who vote “conservatively,” so I don’t see the Powers That Be ever allowing that. They are better served letting Seattle and Portland determine the entire course of those states’ politics. And he who IS in power always does what he must to maintain his power.

  4. This is an interesting proposal but I’m suspicious because it was proposed by a venture capitalist with his own agenda. If a regular person had tried to do this, the whole idea would probably have failed to make the ballot. There are already allegations that Mr. Draper’s people tricked people to sign this by getting them to sign a minimum wage petition in a classic bait and switch.

    The main problem with this is that Silicon Valley will become its own wealthy state, and leave the poorer parts of California on their own. And what to do about water rights since California is in the middle of a drought? How would that work out, with water rights needing to cross multiple state lines?

    It’s an interesting idea since it gives people one solution to fix broken governments, and maybe it will open the debate more. It’s also a sign of desperation because our bloated governments don’t represent us, and the normal democratic methods don’t seem to fix them. Things are falling apart around us, to paraphrase Chinua Achebe.

    • This was tried back in the ’70’s, dividing southern from Northern California. I’d be in favor if silicone valley and LA were combined. As for water and power, guess where they come from: Central Valley and what they are calling south Ca. They could starve and put the coast, where they try to control everything, into a drought. The coast now steals water from fertile, agricultural land for their golf courses and fountains. They forget where their arugula comes from. Plus, that plan would put most of the heathens in one area where we could keep track of them.

  5. Ah, my beloved state. Signature gatherers are often outside grocery stores trying to obtain enough signatures to get something put on the ballot. This was supposed to be a way for the common man to get the legislature to deal with issues that they didn’t want to deal with but were important. In practice it’s just a way for the very rich to get the state to favor them even more. Since the signature gatherers are paid by the signature, and the wealthy can afford to pay them, given enough time almost anything can be put on the ballot. If what they wanted didn’t get enough signatures to end up on the ballot they just wait for the next round. So many boondoggles have been passed it’s mind-boggling. I refuse – always – to sign them.

  6. I guarantee that the people of Jefferson Have NOTHING IN Common With Either Sacramento OR Salem. The States out here in the west are too large.

    I also support Cascadia Separatism.

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